What Insurance Covers Excess Skin Removal
Does insurance cover excess skin removal after weight loss? The answer can vary from one patient to another. In many cases, patients seek excess skin removal surgery solely for cosmetic reasons to achieve more desirable body contours. This will make you ineligible for insurance coverage. However, in some cases, the procedure may be medically necessary, which will allow you to claim full or partial coverage under your health plan.
To determine what insurance covers excess skin removal, you should take the following steps.
- Review the terms and conditions provided in your medical insurance policy and your certificate of eligibility
- If your sagging skin is causing you pain, chafing, infection, or discomfort, make a detailed note of your problems
- Make an appointment with a plastic surgeon to discuss your medical concerns and get a diagnostic test evaluation done
- Submit a letter of recommendation and relevant medical documents from your surgeon to your insurance provider
- If your insurance coverage request is rejected, consider alternative safe and affordable options for excess skin removal surgery
What Is Extra Skin Removal Surgery
Extra skin removal surgery is a term used to describe a variety of body contouring procedures designed to address excess skin and tissue following major weight loss. After losing a significant amount of weight it is extremely common for the skin to sag where it was once stretched to hold more fat. This type of surgery can be great for targeting excess skin folds on the torso, legs, buttocks and arms.
These procedures commonly include: tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, and lower body lift. Body contouring surgery helps patients achieve natural, aesthetically pleasing results and can be the final piece of building back confidence in patients who have struggled with weight issues.
What Are The Types Of Excess Skin Removal Procedures
There are several different procedures for removing excess skin. Most people need a combination of surgeries to get the look they seek. Your doctor can help determine which procedures will benefit you the most.
Excess skin removal procedures include:
- Arm lift to remove excess skin that hangs down from your upper arm.
- Breast lift to firm up breasts by tightening tissue and removing excess skin.
- Facelift to give your face a smoother, younger appearance and get rid of excess skin around your neck.
- Lower body lift to remove excess skin and fat from your stomach, butt and outer thighs.
- Panniculectomy to remove the apron of excess skin that hangs below your belly button.
- Thigh lift to give your inner thighs a sleeker appearance.
- Tummy tuck to remove excess skin and tighten weak or separated abdominal muscles.
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Take Advantage Of The Latest Techniques And Products To Reduce Scarring
When researching options for skin cancer removal, ask about modified Mohs surgery. As each layer of skin is removed, it is immediately examined for the presence of cancerous cells so the surgeon can ensure they have gone far enough to remove the entire lesion without causing excess damage. This method has more than a 98% cure rate and allows for more immediate reconstruction and healing. Once the cancerous cells have been removed, your plastic surgeon can use a skin flap or skin graft technique to close the affected area and stimulate healing.
Your doctor should use refined suturing and wound closure techniques to further minimize the appearance of scars. The care taken at this vital step in the process can have a large effect on your outcome!
The process doesnt end with surgery the right post-operative care is also essential. At our office, Dr. Garazo will recommend clinical-strength, medical-grade skincare products to enhance healing, help reduce the appearance of scars, and improve the overall health of your skin.
Aesthetic plastic surgeons have non-surgical treatment and product options that far surpass OTC products when it comes to treating scars, blemishes, and skin discoloration.
Before & After Photos
At Marietta Dermatology we have extensive experience in Mohs and reconstructive surgery. Our top priorities are the successful removal of your skin cancer and an aesthetic reconstruction to restore your natural anatomy. After the removal of your skin cancer, we create an individualized plan based on the location and size of the defect as well as your specific skin type. While it is impossible for a surgeon to cut the skin without leaving a scar, we will perform your reconstruction very meticulously to help ensure you have the best result possible.
All photos included in this gallery are from surgeries performed by Dr. Friedman or Dr. Perry. The after photos were taken approximately 3 months following the surgery. Please do not download or reproduce the images without the express consent of Dr. Friedman or Dr. Perry.
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Work With An Experienced Plastic Surgeon
Board certified plastic surgeons spend many years studying and training in both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery techniques. This gives them a unique perspective, and they can combine functional and aesthetic techniques to provide optimal results.
Plastic surgeons like Dr. Garazo who are experienced in skin cancer removal and have spent decades providing cosmetically pleasing surgical results are particularly well qualified to minimize scarring.
What Will My Scars Look Like After Extreme Weight Loss Surgery
You may have accumulated sagging skin in areas like the arms, abdomen, and thighs after losing a significant amount of weight. While many men and women are proud of their extreme weight loss, loose skin can cause some pain and embarrassment. This is where skin removal surgery comes in.
Surgery may sound intimidating because it does require incisions, but you can enjoy great results when working with the team at Morales Plastic Surgery.
The best way to ease your fears after weight loss surgery is by having a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Rolando Morales has experience in this area and can make sure you are satisfied with your outcomes in Houston, TX.
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The Thigh Lifting Surgery Scars
Anytime a human being gets cut , scars heal the following way: Initiallythey are red, raised and hard. Within 6-12 months, they are flat, white and soft. Younger people have scars that might stay active or red for up to 2 years. Older people have scars that might stay active or red for less than 3 months.39 year oldfemale before and 3 months after short-scar thigh lift. Notice the red scar which willflatten and then become white with time. The scar is placed in the crease which means it ishidden with most bikinis.
before and 6 weeks after complete thigh lift. Notice on the oblique close-up view of her scarthat there has been no widening and her scars are very narrow. The puckering will resolve by 3months after her surgery.
What Is Recovery Like After Excess Skin Removal Surgery
How youll feel during recovery and when you can resume activities depends on the procedures. A full recovery can take several months.
After surgery, you may:
- Have temporary tubes to drain fluid out of your body. You may go home with these tubes, which may stay in place for a week or two.
- Take pain relievers or NSAIDs.
- Change bandages and apply ointments frequently.
- Need someone to drive you places for at least the first week.
- Not lift anything heavy or do strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks.
- Return to work in one to three weeks, depending on the procedure.
- Not stand upright for a few days after an abdominal procedure.
- Sleep with pillows elevating the knees after lower body procedures.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and walk to prevent blood clots.
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Am I A Good Candidate For Skin Removal Surgery
- You have reached your goal weight and your weight has remained stable for at least 6 months. Improved body contours from skin removal surgery should last for many years, but significant weight fluctuations after surgery can negatively impact results
- You are in good general health. This is for your safety certain medical conditions can increase risks of surgery.
- You have realistic expectations about surgery. Skin removal can dramatically improve your appearance but will not give you a perfect body.
- You understand that you may have visible scars when wearing certain garments, such as swimsuits.
- You are able to take several weeks off to recover.
How Much Do Patients Worry About Scars
When doctors tell patients they need skin cancer surgery, they hear a wide range of reactions, says Dr. Kober. I have some patients who say, I dont care about the scar, Doc. I dont have a modeling career. Just get the cancer out. Thats one extreme. There are also patients on the other side of the spectrum, she says, who are very concerned about the scar and its cosmetic appearance.
Hooman Khorasani, MD, former chief of the Division of Dermatologic & Cosmetic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, sees the full gamut of reactions in his private practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan as well. That includes celebrity patients who know an unsightly scar could hurt their career. Dr. Khorasani, who is quadruple board-certified in dermatology, Mohs surgery, cosmetic surgery and facial cosmetic surgery, spends about 50 percent of his time doing Mohs surgery and says hes careful to reassure patients as well as manage their expectations. Most cases are BCCs and SCCs. When detected early, theyre almost always curable. I explain to patients that these are very common skin cancers and that theyre not alone, he says. Were definitely going to take care of it and get rid of the cancer. Thats the most important thing. He knows the importance of a good cosmetic outcome, too. In fact, hes done extensive research on minimal scar wound repair.
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Dermabrasion For Pimple Scars
Dermabrasion is similar to laser resurfacing. Your doctor uses a mechanical instrument to slowly remove the top layer of skin. A smooth layer of new skin replaces the scarred layer as you heal. This procedure is effective against surface pimple scars and typically requires a week of recovery.â
There is another treatment called microdermabrasion. It involves a series of treatments with shorter recovery times.
Cryosurgery For Acne Scars
This treatment involves freezing your pimple scar tissue. The extreme cold causes the tissue to die and fall off. Cryosurgery may be supplemented with steroid injections to improve treatment results.
Cryosurgery is riskier for people with darker skin. The treatment will often lighten the skin tone of the treated area.
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What Happens During Excess Skin Removal Surgery
Depending on the procedures, you may have surgery at a hospital and stay overnight. Or the procedure may take place at a surgical facility, and youll go home the same day .
Excess skin removal often takes place in stages. You may need multiple surgeries. Certain procedures, such as a lower body lift or a panniculectomy combined with a tummy tuck, can occur during the same surgical appointment.
Abnormal Or Pathologic Scars
Some patients may heal with abnormal scars, but this is uncommon. These scars form due to excess of collagen, and include:
- Hypertrophic scars – More Common. Hypertrophic scars are raised, red scars that respect the borders of the incision, and donât continue to grow over time.However, they may increase in size and projection in the first few months after surgery and can be confused with keloids scars.
- Keloid scars â form beyond the original wound site
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When To Get Excess Skin Removal Surgery
Excess skin removal procedure is ideally suited for individuals who have undergone a major weight loss and developed significantly sagging skin as a result of it. However, bariatric surgery is not the only reason to undergo this procedure. An experienced plastic surgeon can guide you when to get skin removal surgery and whether it will meet your personal aesthetic goals.
- Weight loss: Excess skin removal after weight loss surgery may be performed when your body weight has stabilized after the bariatric procedure. In some cases, it is possible to lose substantial weight even with diet and exercise, which may necessitate a skin removal surgery if the tissue has lost elasticity.
- Pregnancy: Some women may experience deflated breasts or large amounts of loose skin in the abdominal area, upper arms, thighs, or buttocks following pregnancy and breastfeeding. Ask your surgeon when to get skin removal surgery safely after childbirth to restore a pre-pregnancy figure.
- Aging: Many people develop heaving sagging skin in certain areas of the body simply due to the effects of aging, gravitational forces, illness, or medications. You should explore how to qualify for skin removal surgery if you wish to regain a firmer and more youthful looking body appearance.
What Are The Potential Risks Or Complications Of Excess Skin Removal Surgery
Its important to have realistic expectations before you get body contouring procedures. Plastic surgery can improve appearance, but it cant give you a perfect body shape. It also cant help you lose more weight beyond the weight of the skin your surgeon removes.
All surgeries have risks. Potential risks of body contouring procedures include:
- Changes in skin sensations or numbness due to nerve damage.
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Protect Your Scar From The Sun
Exposing your scar to sunlight can make it heal more slowly. It can also make the scar darker and more noticeable.
Its important to protect your scar when youre outside or any time it may be exposed to the sun. You can do the following things:
- Apply sunscreen to your scar. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen thats SPF 30 or higher.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to block the sun.
- Wear clothing thats designed to block the sun.
For more information about using sunscreen, read the resource Understanding Sunscreen. You can find it online, or you can ask your nurse.
Do Skin Cancers Always Need Surgery
Not always. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma , the major nonmelanoma skin cancers. Treatment options are based on the size and location of the cancer, and may include topical medications, scraping and burning, freezing, radiation, light-based treatments like lasers and photodynamic therapy, and excision or Mohs surgery.
Excision means the physician surgically removes the tumor with a scalpel, then sends it to a lab for later analysis of the margins. In Mohs surgery, which is recommended for some BCCs and SCCs and requires special training, the Mohs surgeon removes the visible tumor and a very small margin and analyzes the processed tissue in an on-site lab while the patient waits. If any cancer cells remain, they are pinpointed and removed. The surgeon repeats this until there is no evidence of cancer. This technique has a high cure rate and achieves the smallest possible scar, says Dr. Kober, who has extensive training and experience in Mohs surgery.
In rare cases, a BCC or SCC may become advanced and require additional treatment with medications.
Most patients underestimate the length of their scar before skin cancer surgery. Public education about this is crucial.
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Scar Removal Before And After
There are so many types of scars! And so many treatments for them. Topical products, steroid injections and lasers to name a few. The good news is that for almost any type of scar you have, weve got a treatment option. Textured surgery scars check, dark acne scars check, red trauma or burn scars check. See below for a sampling of the scars we can successfully treat.
Below is a list of scars and how we successfully treat them:
Surgery scars. Scars that result from a surgical procedure can change the texture and/or color of the skin. In some cases, there is a waxy, shiny appearance. In others, the scar is white or lighter colored than the natural skin tone. Bumpy and indented scars can also result from surgical procedures.
- Bumpy Scars usually steroid injections for flattening
- Indented Scars fractional laser resurfacing, dermal filler injections
- Red Scars Vbeam Pulsed dye laser
- Brown Scars hydroquinone bleaching medication or q-switched lasers
- White Scars fractional resurfacing for very thin white lines.
Keloid Scars. Keloid scars are a type of scar that grows outside the boundaries of the original injury. Many patients mistake a very normal textured scar or even a small bumpy scar for a keloid. The difference is that keloid scars can grow very large, much larger than the original injury. Keloid scars are treated with steroid injections and the goal is to shrink them to a flat appearance.
What Are The Signs Of Trouble In A Healing Scar
Bleeding: Dr. Kober tells patients that if they notice a bit of blood oozing after surgery, hold firm pressure for 20 minutes on the area without peeking. If you peek, you release the pressure and have to start the clock over again, she says. Most of the time that will solve the problem. However, for patients who are on blood thinners and dont clot as well, that may not stop the oozing. If thats the case, Dr. Kober says, I tell patients to give us a call. We can talk it through, get a sense of how much bleeding there is and, if needed, follow up in the office.
Infection: Typically, infections are very red, hot and tender, says Dr. Kober. If its a prominent infection, you might see a little yellowy-greenish substance. But sometimes its more subtle. Theres always a little redness associated with the healing process. But if redness is growing around the wound, or if you have what I describe as pain out of proportion to what you would expect for the normal healing process, call your doctor, says Dr. Kober. Most of the time its nothing, but its always good to put your mind at ease.
Its important for patients to know that infections rarely happen before day five after surgery, says Dr. Khorasani. Redness and oozing before day five are often related to allergic reactions.
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